The State will continue to pursue connectivity to international airport hubs despite recent setbacks, assured the Assistant Minister for Tourism, Datuk Lee Kim Shin yesterday.
It is not easy to convince airlines especially foreign carriers to Sarawak as there are equally attractive destinations that they can look to, he said.
We are trying our very best and the ROUTES Asia 2019 sessions’ here has been a touch point to meet up with airline companies in the regions and we want to convince them that connectivity into Sarawak can be a viable business, he added.
Having scheduled meeting appointments and engagements with airlines and airports, we began to understand the business and that enables us to be wiser when dealing with the business professionals in the tourism industry, he continued.
Datuk Lee, who was leading the Sarawak Tourism Board’s delegation to the business gathering today met up with nine airlines especially companies mostly from the region and fours airport operators to obtain better insights into their business needs.
“We made headway today and with some promising results during the engagement session and that keeps our hopes up in securing better connectivity into the State, he enthused.
“We have to work hard and be able to give enough reasons to convince airline operators to consider mounting flight to Sarawak”, he added.
Today, the Sarawak team met up with at four more airline operators to wind up the session before calling it a day and return back.
Acknowledging that connectivity must be propelled by sufficient number of travellers, tourists and holiday makers, Datuk Lee said it must also be complemented by business travels and as such conducive business environment and attractive destination’s tourism products were sought for by airlines operators he explained.
ROUTES Asia, the region’s leading meetings of airlines and airport executives started on March 10 and will end today.
Datuk Lee (left) with Zainuddin Mohammad, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad’s Senior Manager and sharzede (right) as the business meeting with representatives of Qatar Airways
Datuk Lee (right) presenting the Gunung Mulu National Park coffee table book to Min Yao, Director of International Planning of China Express Airlines. Seen from left is STB’s Chief Executive officer, Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor and China Express’s International Business Manager, Meng Ling.